ABSTRACT

There is a widely held view that the current generation of young Australian women

have disengaged from a feminist politics that they see as belonging to their

mothers’ generation. Although the 1990s saw a flurry of publications in Australia,

the US and the UK that both asserted generational differences between feminists

and outlined the new orientations and repertoire of the so-called ‘third wave’ of

the women’s movement, more than a decade later it is hard to identify even a

loosely organised movement of young women such as these earlier texts had

envisaged. As one of the key chroniclers of these debates, Anita Harris, argues:

While the notion of a third wave seemed to hold hopes for a new surge in

imaginative and diverse but linked-up feminist practice purportedly less

driven by the perceived ideological alliances of previous waves, its little

sisters, especially those young women now in their teens and 20s, have

appeared less able to cash this out.1